ac tripping breaker - new ac recommendations

lanb2June 22, 2012

I am an out of state accidental landlord and need some advice

on replacing/repairing the ac at my rental property in the

chicago area.

The property has two 2.5 ton trane units (2TTB00301000AA)

that are about 11 years old.

The tenant complained of no cooling in the upstairs and i had

a local tech go and check it out.

He first diagnosed it as a blown capacitor in the upstairs

unit and replaced it. When he tried restarting it, it tripped the breaker again and again. Now, the diagnosis is bad compressor and here are the options

Replace compressor - $2200

Replace unit with Lennox 13ACX-030-230 - $3600

Do u think the diagnosis is correct ? Any chance the compressor can be repaired ? Should i get a second opinion ?

If i need to replace, is there a better value (reliability)

model/brand for a rental property ?

Is $3600 a good price in that area ?

Thanks !

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Not enough information to confirm diagnosis. It could be the circuit breaker.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 5:17PM
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What is the best way to confirm that the compressor is the problem ?

Would you guys recommend i set up a service appt. with
a Trane dealer/service in that area ?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Get a second opinion from a highly regarded HVAC dealer.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:07PM
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Thanks, any recommendations in the southwest suburbs of
Chicago ?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:09PM
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Get a second opinion. Mixing old with new not always a good idea. Have expert advise you.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 1:01PM
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I had the "American Standard" guys come over today and here is
their quote

4TTB3030 - $2668 installed.

Yes, I plan to get a second opinion but it appears the original tech took the disconnect with him. :(
I need to get that back first.

Once again, requesting for a good honest ac repair reference
in the chicago southwest suburbs to confirm the original

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 3:48PM
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It if were my condenser I would ask the tech to try a hard start kit before making any costly repairs. The 5-2-1 compressor saver reduces the amount of surge current when the compressor starts up. It may keep the circuit breaker for tripping. They are easy to connect and there is no harm done if it doesn't solve the problem.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I had a similar problem with a failing contactor relay. After replacing the relay, the 240v/30A circuit breaker would trip within seconds of trying to start the compressor.

I disconnected the three compressor wires from their respective connections and tested each of them for short to ground. All were shorted to ground. Bad compressor.

New A/C unit needed. I didn't want to spend money on an expensive new compressor in a system that was 18 years old otherwise. The new unit is R-410A refrigerant, replacing the old R-22 system. R-22 has become prohibitively expensive around here anyway.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 10:33PM
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Interesting concept - the 521 compressor.

Is this a permanent solution ? I am planning to get
a repair outfit (j&j of plainfield, IL) out there
to explore the options.

knot2fast - yes, i plan to replace the whole unit instead of
just the compressor if it can't be repaired.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 11:40PM
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I am sure the compressor is failed. 3600.00 on the other hand is very expensive.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 8:58AM
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A hard start kit can be a permanent solution. However if the tech can verify the compressor has failed or is going to fail very soon, then replacment is the right solution.

I am leary of a tech who quotes a high price for a compressor replacement, then says for a little more money you can get a new condenser. It would nice if the tech could explain why an 11 year old compressor has failed. Is there an installation issue which needs to be corrected so it won't happen again?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:47AM
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Going back to the mixing that busboy was talking about earlier.

What is the consensus about having a R-22 and R-410a units
working together ? Is it even possible or should i get a
"dry charged" R-22 system ?

Info in the URL below seems to indicate mixing is bad

Here is a link that might be useful: R-22 and R-410A

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:10AM
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The independent repair guy confirmed that the compressor is out. The hard start kit did not help. The reason given for the compressor failure was dirty coils. :(.

He recommended going with a new Ducane unit at $3000 approx.
He apparently does not do compressor replacements on Trane units.

I guess now I am back to compressor replacement vs new unit.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Do not use ducain- imo. A tech who does not change out compressors????? Whatever. No you can not mix r-22 and r410a equipment. period. You should not even mix old and new coils but that does happen and is a ongoing debate. In most cases it works out fine but occasionally has problems.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:29AM
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I have 2 air conditioners from Goodman. They make some great air conditioners. Energy efficient, quiet, remote and neat functions like auto on and off after the room cools down but most of all they are reliable. One of my first purchase out of high school was an air conditioner from Sharp and it has ran the same as it did 8 years ago.

Cant add much but my advise...
-Look out for Goodman air conditioners as they make some of the best
-Bigger is not always better but still at least get a 8,000 BTU as your room cant be that small
-Make sure it has on and off fictions or "energy saver"

Here is a link that might be useful: Goodman Air Conditioning Systems

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:21PM
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